To localise Kamov-226T helicopter production; price negotiations for the final contract yet to begin

Russian Helicopters has signed Memorandum of Understandings (MoU) with five Indian companies to localise components for the Kamov-226T utility helicopter chosen by India. However, price negotiations for the final contract are yet to begin, according to a senior company official.

“By the requirements of the Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP), the localisation under Make in India is more than 50%. We promised to localise significantly more than that… It is necessary to transfer documentation to manufacture stuff and to organise after sales support,” Andrey Boginsky, CEO, Russian Helicopters said, after singing the MoUs with Indian companies at Aero India on Wednesday.

Mr. Boginsky stated that Russia was ready to localise after sales support, which has been a constant worry for the Armed Forces with respect to Russian equipment.

The MOUs were signed with Elcom, Valdel Advanced Technologies, Dynamatic Technologies, Integrated Helicopter Services and Bharat Forge, covering assemblies such as fuselage, blades, radio stations and landing gear.

India and Russia have concluded an Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) for 200 helicopters estimated to cost over $1 billion. As per the deal, 60 helicopters will be imported from Russia and at least another 140 will be built in India by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) with technology transfer.

As part of the IGA, a Joint Venture (JV) has already been set up between HAL and Russia’s ROSTEC– JSC Rosoboronexport and Russian Helicopters.

As per procedure, the Defence Ministry has issued a Request for Proposal to the JV and Mr. Boginsky stated that all responses have been provided to the Ministry. “The price negotiations have not started,” he said, and added that eventually they will be tying up with about 15 Indian companies for component manufacture.

Victor Kladov, Director-International Cooperation and Regional Policy at ROSTEC State Corporation said they were also keen to offer the maritime variant of the Kamov-226T for the Indian Navy’s tender for 111 Naval Utility Helicopters.

The Kamov-226T helicopters are meant to replace the ageing and obsolete Cheetah and Chetak fleets of the Indian Armed Forces. The number is expected to go beyond 200, given the large requirement of the services. India and Russia also intend to export the Kamov-226T to other countries, after meeting the domestic requirement.